At risk…

June 29, 2016

Globe and Mail – Stephanie Levitz
Refugee system reform at risk as asylum numbers keep climbing: report

The Conservative government in 2013 brought changes to the way Canada received refugees and immigrants.  Certain steps of the process were put under strict time limit, and grounds for appeal rulings were reduced.  Additionally, visas were required from certain countries making travel more difficult.  As a result, although target goals were not achieved, claims fell and backlogs were addressed.  Now it seems that the number of claims is again increasing, target dates for hearings and removals are missed.

CBC News – Holly Moore, Martha Troian
‘No foul play’ found in deaths of dozens of Indigenous women, but questions remain – CBC investigation finds suspicious circumstances in deaths ruled accidental or suicidal

The CBC has looked at a total of 34 cases of Aboriginal women all of whose deaths were declared “no foul play” and were given explanations other than murdered.  In 25 of the 34 cases families said that they thought racism and assumptions around the lifestyle of the women hampered the investigation.  Police indifference to the women seems also to have played a role.  “Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, vice-provost of Aboriginal initiatives at Lakehead University, said relationships between Indigenous people of Canada and police forces have been strained for years. Sometimes it results in a dismissive attitude on the part of some officers, but in other cases it can go further…I would say it’s probably sloppy police work in some instances,” she said.”   Related article: Toronto Star – Tanya Talaga   Coroner’s inquest into deaths of indigenous students provides recommendations but few answers   Related article:  Corrections Canada – Victimization of Aboriginal people in Canada, 2014

CBC News – Chris Brown
Victoria homeless camp a symptom of B.C.’s broken housing market – ‘It’s horrendous, the conditions people are living in,’ says neighbour

Housing is seen at the roots of the re-appearance of a tent city in downtown Victoria in BC, in an area around the Parliament Building, frequent by tourists.  BC government coffers have seen enormous tax revenue from the runaway market prices and protestors insist that that money should be used to help the homeless.

CBC News – Alison Crawford

Public service unions go to court over federal payroll problems – With fresh complaints about pay problems, unions head to Federal Court over persistent payroll glitches

A dozen unions representing various public sector employees are fed up with the inability of the new payroll system dubbed Phoenix to get the pay cheques right or even to get them out at all.  Even a temporary pay station has not worked and those who are part time or work irregular hours still have trouble getting paid.  Summer staff now has the same problem.  Back to hand writing cheques?    Related article: CBC News – Julie Ireton   Treasury Board president invites frustrated public servants to call about pay problems – ‘We want to help public servants get through this … because this is totally unacceptable’

CTV News
Man accused of cyberbullying Amanda Todd can be extradited

Todd was the young lady who killed herself after a man on the internet persuaded her into a relationship that included blackmailing her to post naked pictures and threatening to expose her.  It happened from Holland and a Dutch Court has agreed to extradite the 42 year old after he answers for a number of charges the Dutch want him for.  Some think the case will be considerably delayed, if it happens at all.

Globe and Mail – Leland Cecco
Canada takes second spot globally on social-progress ranking – Canada was lauded for its tolerance, but lags on environment

On the basis of 53 items considered in arriving at the final ranking, Canada is second in the world in the 2016 Social Progress Index, a scale that measures how well a country performs in categories of “basic human needs,” “foundations of well-being” and “opportunity,” turning economic advances into social progress.  The data is pulled from a number of public resources by Harvard and MIT.   Related article: Thompson Reuters Foundation News – Sebastien Malo   UNICEF finds dramatic inequality among world’s poorest, richest children